What’s Wrong With UGGs?

UGG boots are made of shearling, which is the skin and coat of a sheep or lamb who was shorn shortly before slaughter—the skin is tanned with the wool still on it.

In other words, UGG boots are literally made of sheep’s skin—and wearing them is just as cruel as wearing fur or any other animal’s skin. Sheep are subjected to immense cruelty just for a pair of boots.

sheep used for wool in a transport truck© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

In the wool and meat industries, before sheep are slaughtered for their skin or flesh, they’re forced to endure miserable lives: Lambs’ ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated—all usually without anesthetics or pain relievers.

sheep used for wool in transport truck close up© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Sheep are typically confined to crowded pens. And in the Australian wool industry, it’s considered normal for approximately 3 million young lambs to die every spring.

patagonia lambs severed tails

Not only are wool and sheepskin products cruelly made, they’re also bad for the environment. In New Zealand, methane emissions from enteric fermentation (burping and passing gas), mostly from sheep, make up more than 90% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Wool production also results in damaged land and polluted water.

Sheep used for wool crowded together© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

UGG Removes Baseless ‘Humane’ Claims After Cease and Desist From PETA

After PETA demanded that UGG stop telling customers that the animals whose skin, down, and wool were used for its products were treated humanely, the company removed the misleading claims from its website. We pointed out that the meat industry castrates lambs and calves without painkillers and slits their throats during slaughter—and that facilities certified by the Responsible Down Standard stabbed geese in the neck and cut off their feet while they were still conscious.

Remember: Buying UGG boots or other wool products supports extreme cruelty to animals. If you want to keep your feet warm and snuggly, check out these cute animal skin–free boots instead.

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